Friday, 22 February, 2019

Truex Jr. Finishes 2nd at Watkins Glen Road Course

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Kristopher Love | 09 August, 2018, 07:55

Both cars were tight on fuel milage late in the race, and Truex forced Elliott to run hard to the finish. On race day, the big three were looking like the best of the field once again, but the #9 Sun Energy1 vehicle of Chase Elliott was a man on a mission.

Truex closed to the back bumper of Elliott's No. 9 Chevy as his vehicle moved wide heading out of the first turn of the final lap, but Elliott regrouped and pulled away as Truex sputtered home second, out of fuel.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) a victor for the first time in NASCAR'S Top series at Watkins Glen.

Finishing third was Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing. He also became the youngest driver to win a Cup race, accomplished at 19 years and 35 days. Jeff Gordon hold the record with six in a row (1997-2000). Bill, who won 44 races in his career, was on the spotters stand for Chase.

Elliott won the race's second stage and brought the crowd to its feet with a pass of Busch.

Midway through the segment, the Big 3 of Busch, Truex and Kevin Harvick were running in the top 10, but Elliott dominated and beat Busch by 1.3 seconds. Hamlin was third, Erik Jones fourth and Truex fifth. "Jimmie (Johnson) has been one of my heroes for a long, long time".

Elliott will be making his first Xfinity Series start at Road America. It's Hamlin's 27th career pole in Cup. Joey Logano then went off track in the inner loop and wound up driving through the gravel pit. The first caution of the race came out on lap three as #10 Aric Almirola was sent spinning coming out of turn seven. Almirola pitted along with AJ Allmendinger, who suffered front-end damage after contact with Logano. Elliott pulled out to a half-second lead while Truex was fighting to get back to the front after a restart mired him in 12th.

Truex did come close to passing Elliott on the last lap. Busch pitted the next time around to stay on the same strategy, but Truex stayed out to win his seventh stage of the season. With 44 Cup victories and the 1988 Cup championship, Elliott was inducted in the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Denny Hamlin started the race from the pole of the 220.5-mile event but lost the lead on Lap 2 when he was passed by teammate Busch in the sweeping Carousel turn.

"It's way too soon for that", Hamlin, who won at The Glen two years ago, said when asked if his effort was a step toward closing the gap with the three drivers at the top.